We were back on the same stretch as last weeks practice match namely Rea Bridge to the Pilot Inn plus a couple of pegs were put in around Sims Bridge to give everyone 2 pegs distance apart in case the odd boat was moored up as the Tall Ships event was on in Gloucester Docks.
Another new signing Leigh Wakefield joined us today, recent signing Dave Hoskin, Chris Hook and myself made up the 4 man team. We were fishing for a good team result today along with individual performances as we knew we had no chance of coming in the top 4 payouts.
This was Leighs first visit to the Gloucester Canal so in the run up he was prepared as much as possible on tactics and approach plus provided with a ground bait mix and feeder hook lengths.
New signing Leigh Wakefield
Chris done the team draw and came back with the following:-
Chris peg 3 (Sims bridge)
Dave peg 198 (Rea end)
Ivan peg 228 (Pilot end)
Leigh peg 259 (Pilot end)
We were discussing the pegs and its probably a bit of an understatement to say Dave was ''well pleased with 198'' as the match was won off it the previous week. Think he ran out the door even though we had 2 hours to get to the pegs and set up!
We were not sure about Chris's peg as it had not been in in recent matches. Leigh's on 259 had not been in the previous week either and he was just going to be above ''Tanker Bay''. Looking at mine, I was in the right area but 1lb 6oz had been caught on it the previous week.
Leigh followed me down to the parking by the Pilot Inn and we walked up the Canal together. We got to 259 and it was clear from the grass that the peg had not been fished for some time. Most anglers would fish Tanker Bay. There was good far bank cover so you never know. I left him to set up and headed up toward 228. On arrival I found myself between two local anglers Rob McKenzie and Andy Richings. The towpath was narrow and a high hedge was behind me with overhanging branches so some gardening work was done to allow a feeder to be cast across. On the far bank I had a small tree and lilies, it did look fishy.
It did not take long to set up the one pole rig for fishing at 14 meters, I normally only fish 13 meters but at 14 meters I was just on the bottom of the slope of the near shelf and a nice top 5 deep. For the feeder rod I had to adjust it from the previous week as it was a longer chuck. Ground bait for both the feeder and pole was pre-mixed so some finishing touches and a riddle through I was ready to go with 20 minutes to spare.
Usual approach on the ''all in'' with a few balls cupped in on the pole line to be left for at least an hour.
Starting on the feeder it was really slow, I had a couple of small knocks after 25 minutes and did not hit them, I must try to hit these on this venue rather than wait for a slow wrap around!
Andy and Rob either side of me came in on the pole line early and both had caught a few net fish (skimmers), they did look a decent size but I stuck it out for the full hour on the tip without a fish although I did get what I thought was a couple of liners.
First drop in on the pole I had a small 4oz skimmer so that was the dreaded blank avoided, but nothing more after 15 minutes so cupped another ball in.
Back out on the tip I cast out every 5 minutes and on the fourth put in had a proper bite which gave me a decent skimmer so started to close the gap a little and feeling a bit more confident. I came back on the pole again after 20 minutes or so and had an eel around 5 ozs but nothing else so cupped in another ball. Looking up and down the bank there was little or no action so felt I was doing ok'ish.
I saw Andy get a couple of net fish on the tip, again they looked ok from a distance.
While on the tip a boat went over my line and just as it cleared i had a great drop back bite and a proper thud on the end when I picked the rod up. It was smaller than I thought but at 2lbs most welcome and I was back in contention.
By swapping between the two lines I added another skimmer on the tip and a decent eel on the pole before the ''all out''.
The scales started below me at 247 and when it came to me the best was 7lb 10oz. My 3 skimmers, the blade and 2 eels went 6lb 10oz.
Further on up above me there was another 7lb plus and a 10lb plus from Paul Bishop who caught two big bream in the last 20 minutes!
My 6lb 10oz just missing out on a 3rd in section pay out but 12 points from 15.
My ''section board'', pretty tight and tough in places
I caught up with Leigh back at the car park and he told me he only had one bite all day resulting in a 7oz fish and he was not last in ''section''. So it was a tough initiation for him.....but....he'll be back.
Back at the Rugby Club i met up with Chris and Dave. Chris caught 4lb plus for 6 points and Dave had done 16lb plus for second in section and 14 points.
Top 2 individuals on the day:
1st Tony Davis Mix and Match 25lb 10oz
2nd Dave Foxall Sensas Strike 24lb 14oz
Teams on the day:
1. Sensas Strike
2. Maver Harescombe
3. DGL Red
4. Maver Cadbury Angling
5. P I Thatchers
8. DGL Black
10. Senses 88
12. Mix & Match
13. Drennan Oxford
14. DGL Gold
15. Senses Lobbys
Final League Table:
1. DGL Red
2. Sensas Strike
3. P I Thatchers
5. Sensas 88
6. Maver Cadbury Angling
7. Sensas Lobbys
8. DGL Black
9. DGL Gold
10. Maver Harescombe
12. Mix & Match
15. Drennan Oxford
So in our 3rd year of fishing this league we are progressing. The key as always is having a stable team and I think we are starting to build on that again after loosing a couple of anglers.
On a personal note I have been given some good advice by a certain person (you know who you are) which has helped me a lot on this moody and difficult venue.
SW Super League starts week after next and the first match is on the Gloucester Canal with a practice match this coming Sunday (might as well move to Gloucester).